Tag Archives: surveillance

US working overtime to ready crowd face scanning capabilty

The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/us/facial-scanning-is-making-gains-in-surveillance.html?ref=us   The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of […]

Legal news website shuts over government spying intrusion

An award-winning legal news website has stopped work, saying it cannot operate under current US surveillance policies. Pamela Jones, Groklaw’s founder, cited the alleged US practice of screening emails from abroad and storing messages “enciphered or otherwise thought to contain secret meaning” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23768810   “There is no way to continue doing Groklaw, not long term, which […]

Google to unleash eavesdropping phone in August

Google-owned Motorola has announced a phone that is “always listening”. Saying “OK Google now…” will prompt the Moto X’s Touchless Control system to listen for instructions. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23536936   The device is the first to have been designed from scratch since Google’s $12.5bn (£7.9bn) takeover of Motorola last year. While the company has released handsets since then, […]

Department stores tracking customer behavior with wi-fi

When Nordstrom posted a sign telling customers it was tracking them, shoppers were unnerved. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/business/attention-shopper-stores-are-tracking-your-cell.html?pagewanted=all  Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall the company started testing […]

US plays constitutional shell game with surveillance

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the Obama administration’s top appellate lawyer, argued that a challenge to a 2008 surveillance law should be dismissed.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/us/double-secret-surveillance.html?pagewanted=all  He said, a little comically in retrospect, that the human rights groups, lawyers and reporters who sought to challenge the law had no particular reason to think that their communications […]

Google launches internet surveillance balloons

Google is launching about 30 of the superpressure balloons from New Zealand from where they will drift around the world in near space on a controlled path. An Orlando-based firm, World Surveillance Group, sells similar equipment to the US Army and other government agencies. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22905199 Google calls the effort Project Loon and acknowledges it is […]

US secret surveillance program becomes public

The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/us/us-secretly-collecting-logs-of-business-calls.html?hp  The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, […]

German drones and the anti-surveillance state

Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, plans to test small drones to try to reduce the amount of graffiti being sprayed on its property. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22678580 The idea is to use airborne infra-red cameras to collect evidence, which could then be used to prosecute vandals who deface property at night. But it is not yet clear […]

Face recognition fully implemented

The odds are you are not just a face in the crowd any longer. Even if your picture isn’t plastered all over social networking and photo-sharing sites, facial recognition technology in public places is making it harder if not impossible to remain anonymous. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57584887/big-brother-is-big-business/ CBS reports on the new ways this technology is being used […]

Some US lawmakers wary of Google Glass

Eight members of Congress on Thursday formally demanded that Google address a range of privacy concerns about its new wearable technology device, Google Glass.“We are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/technology/lawmakers-pose-questions-on-google-glass.html?ref=technology  The glasses, which are not yet for sale to the public, connect to the Internet […]

Drones in America under guise of drug war

The U.S. Navy on Friday began testing two new aerial tools, borrowed from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, that officials say will make it easier to detect, track and videotape drug smugglers in action. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/27/world/americas/ap-cb-caribbean-drug-drones.html?ref=world  One of the devices on display aboard the navy test ship is a type of drone that can be […]

Cyber Command a cyber threat to privacy

The military’s newly created Cyber Command is establishing 13 teams of programmers and computer experts who could carry out offensive cyberattacks. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/us/intelligence-official-warns-congress-that-cyberattacks-pose-threat-to-us.html?ref=world. ”Such surveillance is bound to raise more debate with privacy advocates, who fear government monitoring of the origin and the addressing data on most e-mail messages and other computer exchanges. ” “I would […]

Drones to spy and kill in US worries citizens

American suspicion about the government, the military and the surveillance state: the specter of drones streaking through the skies above American cities and towns, controlled by faceless bureaucrats and equipped to spy or kill worries americans. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/us/politics/visions-of-drones-in-us-skies-touch-bipartisan-nerve.html?src=rechp There are dangers of unchecked government. And it has exposed fears about ultra-advanced technologies that are fueled by […]